Brookhaven native returns to lead Lincoln Baptist Association

Published 6:00 pm Monday, May 2, 2022

David Williams did not return to his hometown to take it easy.

Williams began his new stint as director of missions for the Lincoln Baptist Association Monday.

Born and raised in the Home Seekers Paradise, Williams and his wife Salena — daughter of Tommy “Chicken Man” Smith — have been away from the area for two decades, but are happy to be back in Brookhaven.

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“I was senior pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Moss Point, since January 2002,” he said. “It has been a good ministry, and I wasn’t looking to leave.”

But God began to work on him, calling him to the opportunity after Dr. Steve Jackson retired in 2021.

“God got involved and gave me a desire to come serve in the community, to help pastors and churches to unite together to work for the kingdom of God,” Williams said. “We need to be more outwardly focused than inwardly focused.”

“It’s not to retire and take it easy,” Williams said about the move. “I love to encourage pastors. I have a heart for pastors and to see churches grow.”

Williams did not set out to become a full-time minister. He worked at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station before opening a Firestone auto shop on the corner of Whitworth Avenue and East Monticello Street in 1985, then moving it to Hwy. 51.

The Williamses volunteered at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church and David was the church’s part-time youth minister. But in 1993, he followed God’s call and became full-time pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Monticello. He served there until he went to Temple Baptist in Moss Point eight years later.

Selena, a psychologist, has taken a position with the Mississippi Adolescent Center in Brookhaven.

“We have been very involved with addiction recovery over the years in ministry,” Williams said. He hopes to get involved with Celebration Recovery efforts here or in additional efforts.

His heart has also always been in missions, he said.

“We’ve taken multiple trips to Africa — Uganda, the Congo and on the Sudan border — Thailand, and across the States,” Williams said. “We’ve done a lot of local ministry, too.”

He plans to continue mission work, involving as many other people and churches as are willing.

“I’m already working on a trip to Uganda for next year,” he said.

Williams will be officially welcomed into his new ministry role in a service at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Easthaven Baptist Church. Dr. Johnny Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board, will be the featured speaker.